Guo Pei, Couture Beyond, at the Bowers Museum

Beyond Beautiful

I was amazed by the forty ensembles by Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei currently on display at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California.

It is almost impossible to describe the intricate details and decorative elements Pei uses in her designs: crystals embroidery, metallic threads, luxury material, etc. The exhibition includes designs from 2006 through 2018 and includes many items shown at Paris Fashion Week.

Each ensemble includes fantastic platform shoes. (2015)

This is Guo’s interpretation of Aladdin. (2009-2010)

The exhibit runs through July 14, 2019. If you are in the area, I highly recommend it.

Stairway to Hogwarts

Author, Author

Store shelves with author clay portraits, Livaria Lello, Porto, Portugal

The upper shelves in Livraria Lello (Lello Bookstore) are adorned with miniature portrait busts of authors. Porto’s Livraria Lello is famous because J. K. Rowling used it as the inspiration for the library in the Harry Potter books. When she lived in Porto, she spent time in the store imagining the world of Hogwarts. Crowds line up to visit the bookstore, which has resulted in the store having to sell timed entry tickets and charging a fee. Too many people were crowding in just for photo opportunities and not buying anything. Even with the fee, it was packed the day I was there.  Getting to the upper level was difficult because people were posing and blocking the stairs. The entry fee is refundable if you buy a book or item not related to Harry Potter.

Underside of stairway leading to upper level of Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal

Interior, Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal

Join Terri’s Sunday Stills: For the Love of Reading and Books

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Time Squared: #13

Break Time: Intermission

Intermission, Palais Garnier. Paris Opera House, Paris, France

Join Becky’s 30 day December Square Challenge. It’s simple. Photos must be square and must be related to time, literally or figuratively. Day 13

Pink It Is #14

Lady of Loreto Pink

Ceiling decoration,18th-century, Our Lady of Loreto, Lisbon, Portugal

Details from an 18th-century ceiling panel in the Church of Our Lady of Loreto in Lisbon, Portugal. Also called the Church of the Italians , Our Lady of Loreto is in the Chiado district.

Join BeckyB’s Square in September: In the Pink. Photos must be square, and for September, have to contain something pink. See this link for more information on how to take part in BeckyB’s quarterly square challenge..

A Photo A Week: Gold

Baptized in Gold

Chapel of John the Baptist, Church of St. Roch, Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon’s Church of St. Roch is awash with gold. The Chapel of St John the Baptist, ordered by King Juan V in 1540, was constructed in Rome, blessed by the pope, then disassembled and shipped to Lisbon on three ships. It was said to be the most expensive chapel ever built at the time. The scene of John the Baptist above the altar is a micro mosaic, not a painting. The overt use of gold was a celebration of the glories of Portugal’s expansion around the world and the riches the colonies brought to the kingdom.

Join Nancy’s A Photo A Week: Gold

Lisbon: Some of its Churches

As some of you may know from old posts, I am non religious but I love old churches and religious art and objects. Three churches have stood out for me in the last two days and all are quite different.

Catholicism played a big role in both the development and the expansion of Portuguese culture. It has only been since the 1970s, and the end of a long term dictatorship, that church and state were finally separated.

I’ll start with my favorite so far.

The Jesuit Church of St. Roch.

Unremarkable on the outside, the mid-16th century Church of St. Roch is an explosion of gold on the inside. While the simple floorplan follows the Jesuit auditorium-church plan, the interior decoration is flamboyant Baroque.

The single nave has a flat wooden ceiling with false domes painted on it. Eight side chapels line the nave.

The Chapel of St John the Baptist, ordered by King Juan V in 1540, was constructed in Rome, blessed by the pope, then disassembled and shipped to Lisbon on three ships. It was said to be the most expensive chapel ever built at the time.

The three large paintings are actually micromosaic copies of paintings. The altar frony is lapis lazuli. Most of the altar decorations are gold or gilt silver or bronze.

Many of the valuable or fragile altar good and vestments made for use in the chapel are now housed in the museum adjoining the church.

The other seven side chapels are also splendid, and gold leaf predominates.

Chapel of Our Lady of Piety.

Chapel of Our Lady of the Doctrine

Gold, diamond and amethyst item in museum.

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